How to Encrypt App Contants & Strings in iOS Apps

Last updated August 11, 2022 by Appdome

Learn to Prevent Data Breaches in iOS apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What is Data Breaches?

Using Appdome’s Strings and Resources Encryption you can easily encrypt all strings (such as CFStrings) in iOS apps. This feature greatly enhances the security of the app against malicious attempts to read the app’s contents or harvest valuable data about mobile users.

Appdome is a no-code mobile app security platform designed to add security features, like strings and resource encryption to Android and iOS apps without coding.  This KB shows mobile developers, DevSec and security professionals how to use Appdome’s simple ‘click to build’ user interface to quickly and easily protect sensitive data in iOS apps. 

Why Prevent Data Breaches in iOS Apps ?

Why do we need to encrypt App Constants & Strings in iOS Apps?

The soft belly of any application is the thing that can be easily understood from the application without using specialized tools. The top two in the list are:

  1. Strings: Human-readable words, phrases, URLs, tokens, passwords etc…
  2. Resources: Images, audio, video, and anything that’s easy to double-click on a PC.

Anyone can unpack a .ipa file, and snoop around, which those files above mentioned can be opened or read (images, movies, audio snippets and the occasional plist or db file).

Preventing Data Breaches on iOS apps by Using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Prevent Data Breaches without an SDK or gateway:

  1. Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.

    1. Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System

    2. Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
    3. iOS Formats: .ipa
  2. Build the Protection: Encrypt Strings and Resources.

    1. Building Encrypt Strings and Resources by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Encrypt Strings and Resources

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature
        Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).

      3. Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature via Appdome Console, to add the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature to this Fusion Set.

      4. Open the Fusion Set Detail Summary by clicking the “...” symbol on the far-right corner of the Fusion Set, as shown in Figure 1 above, and get the Fusion Set ID from the Fusion Set Detail Summary (as shown below): fusion Set Detail Summary image

        Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
        Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).

      5. Follow the instructions below to use the Fusion Set ID inside any standard mobile DevOps or CI/CD toolkit like Bitrise, App Center, Jenkins, Travis, Team City, Cirlce CI or other system:
        1. Build an API for the app – for instructions, see the tasks under Appdome API Reference Guide
        2. Look for sample APIs in Appdome’s GitHub Repository
    2. Building the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Encrypt Strings and Resources protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > TOTALData™ Encryption section
      2. How: Toggle (turn ON) Encrypt Strings and Resources, as shown below. Encrypt Strings and Resources option

        Figure 3: Prevent Data Breaches option

      3. When you select the Encrypt Strings and Resources you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Encrypt Strings and Resources

        Fusion Set applied Encrypt Strings and Resources

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Encrypt Strings and Resources protection

      4. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Encrypt Strings and Resources protection is now added to the mobile app
  3. Certify the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature in iOS Apps.

    After building Encrypt Strings and Resources, Appdome generates a Certified Secure™ certificate to guarantee that the Encrypt Strings and Resources protection has been added and is protecting the app. To verify that the Encrypt Strings and Resources protection has been added to the mobile app, locate the protection in the Certified Secure™ certificate as shown below: Encrypt Strings and Resources shown in Certificate secure

    Figure 5: Certified Secure™ certificate

    Each Certified Secure™ certificate provides DevOps and DevSecOps organizations the entire workflow summary, audit trail of each build, and proof of protection that Encrypt Strings and Resources has been added to each iOS app. Certified Secure provides instant and in-line DevSecOps compliance certification that Encrypt Strings and Resources and other mobile app security features are in each build of the mobile app

Prerequisites to Using Encrypt Strings and Resources:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Prevent Data Breaches , you’ll need:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured Apps by using Encrypt Strings and Resources. There is no SDK and no library to code or implement in the app and no gateway to deploy in your network. All protections are built into each app and the resulting app is self-defending and self-protecting.

Releasing and Publishing Mobile Apps with Encrypt Strings and Resources

After successfully securing your app by using Appdome, there are several available options to complete your project, depending on your app lifecycle or workflow. These include:

All apps protected by Appdome are fully compatible with any public app store, including Apple App Store, Google Play, Huawei App Gallery and more.

Protections Similar to Encrypt Strings and Resources

If you have any questions, please send them our way at support.appdome.com or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

Thank you!

Thanks for visiting Appdome! Our mission is to secure every app on the planet by making mobile app security easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project.

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